Strong Increase in Import-Export for the First Month of 2024
The continuous strong increase in import and export is among the information shared at the regular Government Press Conference held on the afternoon of February 1, 2024. This is the last regular Government Press Conference in the Quy Mao lunar year, just before the approaching Lunar New Year of the Year of the Goat.
Accordingly, the total import-export turnover reached nearly USD 64.22 billion, up 37.7% compared to the same period, trade surplus of USD 2.92 billion. Energy security and food security were ensured, with rice exports in January 2024 reaching USD 347 million, up 86.1% compared to the same period.
Minister, Head of the Government Office Tran Van Son, the Government’s Spokesperson, stated that since the beginning of the new year 2024, ministries, agencies, and localities have actively implemented Resolutions and Conclusions of the Party Central Committee, the Politburo, and the National Assembly; focusing on directing and implementing decisions effectively and clearly. As a result, the socio-economic situation in January 2024 continued its positive recovery trend, achieving significant and noteworthy results in many fields.
In the agriculture sector, according to a report by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the export turnover of agro-forestry-fishery products in the first month of 2024 increased significantly, reaching USD 5.14 billion, thanks to the contribution of all groups of products which saw an increase.
Specifically, timber exports reached USD 1.49 billion, up 72.5%; seafood reached USD 730 million, up 60.8%; agricultural products reached USD 2.71 billion, up 93.8%; livestock reached USD 36 million, up 3.5%; input materials reached USD 177 million, up 49.2%.
In terms of markets, the value of exports to China accounted for 23%, up 106.9%; the US accounted for 20.8%, up 95.9%, and Japan accounted for 7.4%, up 47.5%.
Mr. Phung Duc Tien – Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development – said that rice, shrimp, catfish, and rubber exports all increased by 52.6 – 81% depending on the product; cashew exports increased by 129%, fruit and vegetables increased by 112%, and coffee increased by 103%… All products experienced growth, signaling a promising year.
Notably, in the official list of companies that won bids revealed by the Indonesian National Logistics Agency (Bulog) on January 31, 2024, Vietnam won 8 out of 17 bids. Vietnamese companies, including Vinafood 1, Vinafood 2, Loc Troi, Phat Tai Food Co., Gia International Corporation, King Green Natural Foods and Kiên Giang Import-Export, won a total of 8 out of 17 bids to import 500,000 tons of rice from Indonesia.
In 2024, Vietnam aims to maintain a cultivated rice area of 7.1 million ha, rice output over 43 million tons, ensuring domestic consumption and exporting over 8 million tons of rice.
In addition to the achievements, experts believe that while exports have been the driving force behind GDP growth in recent years, it is necessary to consider diversifying markets as Vietnam’s traditional markets are declining.
The US is currently Vietnam’s largest export market, so any instability in the US will directly affect Vietnam. Therefore, to maintain a stable growth momentum, it is necessary to diversify the market. In addition to main export products such as components, phones, and mobile devices, Vietnam also has the potential to develop other sectors such as furniture and agricultural products.
To increase competitiveness in these goods, it is necessary to increase production and reduce costs. For example, how Malaysia sells durian to China. Investment and research in better agricultural products with higher productivity and prioritizing infrastructure development are needed.
As an economy with a high level of openness, Vietnam cannot avoid the negative effects of external fluctuations in a context where risks and challenges remain significant for global economic prospects in 2024. Furthermore, import-export activities have been affected by tension in the Red Sea, resulting in record-high sea freight rates.
In promoting import-export activities, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said it will strengthen negotiations and sign new commitments, trade agreements, FTA agreements, and trade agreements with other potential partners (UAE, MERCOSUR…) to diversify markets, products, and supply chains.
At the same time, support businesses in utilizing commitments in FTAs, especially CPTPP, EVFTA, UKVFTA agreements, to boost exports through propaganda about origin standards and issuing Certificate of Origin, opportunities and ways to take advantage of opportunities from these agreements.
In coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, negotiate with China to open up more export markets for other fruit and vegetable products of Vietnam… Improve the efficiency and good regulation of the speed of customs clearance for import and export goods at border customs areas between Vietnam – China, especially for seasonal agricultural and seafood products; quickly switch to official exports…
In terms of the Chinese market, Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien emphasized that this is a market with a population of over 1.4 billion and a large consumption of goods. However, to open up opportunities to bring agricultural products to this potential market, smart border gates and the promotion of e-commerce are necessary as these are inevitable trends.
In addition to China, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also identifies the US, Japan, and the EU as key markets. In the near future, the Ministry will promote the opening of new markets, with many potentials such as Halal Muslim countries, the Middle East, Africa… At the same time, take advantage of FTAs, especially the CPTPP, EVFTA agreements, to promote the main export products such as agro-forestry-fishery products, support businesses in signing new export orders.